UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

 

Long before the 10th September 2018 dawned the excitement of holding the 4th UKBlues Challenge in The Cavern Club, Liverpool was causing a wave of anticipation throughout social media. On the 7th September slowly increasing in numbers a frame appeared on Facebook. People showing their support by having their profile picture framed with I’M SUPPORTING  THE 4TH #UKBLUESCHALLENGE.

The atmosphere was redolent with the past glories that have been played out at the original Cavern. Tourists were buzzing, selfies were being taken as the board of UKBlues Federation set the space up. The bands arrived full of energy and expectation. The sound guys did everything to ensure the sound checks went smoothly. The venue was in the WiFi free zone of the basement dark and already hot. The mood was electric, as the queues formed outside of blues fans who were delighted to be spending a Sunday afternoon with five bands that representing the variety of angles across the U.K today. Bringing the Blues back to the Cavern 60 years on…

The five bands were given thirty minutes to play the music they love and to get the chance to represent the UK in Memphis at International Blues Challenge and in Hell, Norway at the European Blues Challenge; stepping into the shoes vacated by Kaz Hawkins Band who won and went on to fly the flag of modern Blues being played and enjoyed by diverse audiences. The judges were ready and waiting. The six wise listeners who all love the blues as artists, promoters and DJ’s. The Six were, Victor Brox, Connie Lush, Rosy Greer, Kaz Hawkins, Chris Powers and Nick Westgarth.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The five bands now knew the running order

 

The venue was, hot dark and steamy. The audience on the edge of their seats with anticipation as Ashwyn Smyth (Chair UKBlues Federation) opened proceedings. With Elles’ first note the 2018 challenge was underway.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernElles Bailey debut album is aptly named Wildfire. Elles and her band were like a wildfire burning up the stage. They filled their thirty-minute set with a windswept melee of originals. With country Blues rocked up everyone knew that this was going to be a great live session of blues interpreted by a rising star.  The set was polished as the musicians surrounded her with a hug of sound for Elles to bounce from and deliver the lyrics.  First, up is always difficult. Elles used every note to her advantage setting the bar very high.  The audience whooped and cheered they loved the set. The bands following knew that they had to do not their best but their very best were they ready for the challenge?

Next up with a quick changeover, were The Rainbreakers.  This is rocky blues full of panache and UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavernswagger. Ben on vocals and lead guitar was on fire. His rocky blues electrified the audience. Playing with passion, determination and driving the blues home. They were enjoying their moment, as they interspersed the rockier edge with slower numbers showing the deep blues depths that are the undercurrent fueling the Rainbreakers.  Their number Heart of Gold certainly stood out. A performance that the audience really enjoyed as they warmed to this young band from Shrewsbury who left them wanting more.  The performance like Elles Bailey gave the judges plenty of food for thought.

The energy and fantastic performances that all five acts put in were spell bounding. Anyone of the bands could have represented the UK in Europe & USA. The commitment they demonstrate to Blues and live music is astounding, between them they had driven over 1,000 miles to get to the Cavern and had the prospect of the return journey at the end of the event

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernUKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernNext up, were the winners from the eight bands that played at The Great Rhythm and Blues Festival over Bank Holiday weekend as part of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned Acts project.  Introducing the band was Paul & Margaret Foxley, Robert J. Hunter had only a couple of weeks to prepare as they brought their urban blues to the Cavern. Like the other bands, they were so excited to be playing at such an iconic venue.  A trio that delivered an authentic modern blues sound.  The vocals at times overpowered the sound which is a small point as the sound they were creating was rollicking fun.  Another act that smiled and delivered the blues and gave the judges something to ponder over.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernThe fourth band of the Challenge was LaVendore Rogue. What a stellar set, Joel Fisk once again demonstrating his skills as a blues guitarist. You can always count on front man JoJo to put on a show and tonight they did. The audience reaction was loud and excited them. They were lapping up the music that the band delivered. Not pure blues but every song has deep roots into the heritage of the blues from Charlie Patton and beyond.  Leaving the stage the judges had another band to consider before the final act that had to follow that barnstorming session.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The CavernLast, but definitely not least was Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion. Stylish, sophisticated blues with a jazzy edge. High-quality authentic blues. The title track of their current album, This Is The Life I Choose captured the life and motivation of musicians who play their music live.  Their performance of Angel of Mercy was one of the best I have ever heard Zoe sing and Blue Commotion were spot on with every note and the crafted spaces. What a rousing finale and I am so glad I was not a Judge.

Five Acts, raffle tickets about, prizes handed out and the success of the Minute auctions. The final votes had been counted and verified.

The Winner is: …….. As Dave Raven and Ashwyn Smyth handed over the responsibility of presenting the trophy to last year’s Challenge winner Kaz Hawkins.  The baton, well stylish trophy really, was presented to LaVendore Rogue. They now will be representing the UK in Memphis and Hell.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

Closing the challenge with a party feel was a mighty jam. The stage was filled with the winning band, joined by Connie Lush, Kyla Brox, Kaz Hawkins and the mighty voice and trumpet of Victor Brox. What a resounding end to a challenge that will be long talked about as the blues sung out loud live at the Cavern once more.

UKBlues Federation Hosts Challenge at The Cavern

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

 

 

Who are the four excited bands talking about 4th UK Blues Challenge? They are Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion; LaVendore Rogue, The Rainbreakers and Elles Bailey. There will be a fifth band joining the quartet of superb bands. The fifth band will be announced shortly after the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival taking place at Colne 25th-27th August. The Jessica Foxley Unsigned bands who will be playing on the main stages have now been selected. From these Eight bands one will be chosen to join the bands already announced to take part in the Challenge on the 10th September. Find out who the eight bands that are in with a chance HERE.   

While we all wait in anticipation as to which band are joining the four who have already been nominated read about the bands and what they said when Bluesdoodles spoke to them.

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeTell us what it means to Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

 ZSBC: Firstly, the fact that the number of our peers nominating is so large gives real credibility to the artists involved, so we are also proud about that.    We are also proud to be nominated as we see it as a recognition of our original music, concept and style.  We don’t write the songs to any kind of formula or to fit in with any cliche or pre-conceived ideas of what defines blues in 2017. Read more…..

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeFour Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to LaVendore Rogue to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

LVR: We’ve been to hell and back a few times over the years, and playing in the states has to be a dream of any UK musician, so it’s an honour to be considered for the UK British Blues Challenge – we’ve been working hard over the last few years, and it’s great to see its been recognised by the UK Blues Federation. Read More …

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues ChallengeRainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from the scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states! Read More….

 

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Tell us what it means to Elles Bailey to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

EB: Love the fact that European Challenge at Hell – didn’t know it existed on Earth. I am chuffed to bits to be performing in the Challenge this year. I am a newbie on the scene over the last twelve to eighteen months I have been quickly accepted in the Blues community. It has just exceed my expectations, definitely delighted to be performing in Liverpool and looking forward to seeing the other acts. It is definitely going to be a great night. Read More…

More about The UK Blues Challenge

What is the UK Blues Challenge (UKBC)?

An annual event organised by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) at a different location in the UK at which a number of bands/acts compete in front of a panel of judges drawn from across the blues spectrum. The winning band/act is invited to represent the UK at the following year’s International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis and European Blues Challenge (EBC) which is held in a different European country each year.

The International and European Blues Challenges are organised by, respectively, the Blues Foundation  and the European Blues Union (EBU)

We are very pleased that this year’s event will take place at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 10th September 2017 starting at 16.00. More details can be found  and how to buy a ticket for the event HERE. UKBlues is excited to be bringing the blues back to the Cavern sixty years on!

How are the contestants in the UKBC chosen?

As an Active Member of the EBU meeting the EBU’s laid down criteria (see EBC rules here) and the sole UK Affiliate of the Blues Foundation, UKBlues are honoured to be invited to create and manage the selection process to choose the band or artist who will represent the UK at these prestigious events each year.
The first stage of the process this year saw a panel of more than 250 people from across the blues spectrum in the UK which included members of UKBlues, all UK based Active Members of the EBU, members of the Independent Blues Broadcasters Association, festival and gig promoters, writers (both online and print media), musicians, fans and blues supporters etc. being invited to submit the three UK acts that they felt would best represent the UK at the EBC and IBC.

Members of this panel were asked to place their choices in order (first, second, third) and points were awarded according to the position in which the acts are placed by you.

The 4 top scoring available acts after this process was complete were invited to participate in the UKBC where the contestants will perform in front of a panel of judges who will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as are used at the EBC and IBC.
In a new departure this year, a fifth band will be invited to participate which will be selected from the bands who have been invited by Jessica Foxley Unsigned to play at the Great British Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Festival which takes place in Colne over the August Bank Holiday weekend –  These bands are, generally, under the radar and being selected to play at Colne is a big step up for them.

The band will be chosen by a panel of representatives of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned project and will be chosen on the strength of their performance at Colne.

The winner of the UKBC will be invited to represent the UK at both the 2018 EBC and IBC.

What are the selection and judging criteria?

When making their selections, the members of the panel are asked to bear in mind the following EBC rules which apply:

  • The leader of the band must have the nationality of the country he/she represents.
  • At least 50% of the members of the contestant bands must reside in the country they represent.
  • Acts who participated in a previous edition of the EBC, but did not win, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which half or more of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 3 years.
  • Bands of which less than half of the musicians participated in a previous EBC with another band, may compete again after a period of 2 years.

Contestants at the UKBC, EBC and IBC are expected to perform at least 50% original music in their set and they are awarded points using the following criteria as laid down by the EBU:

  • Originality
  • Instrumental talent
  • Vocal talent
  • Stage presence
  • Blues content

You can read the full EBC rules here

This process is the same as that which has been used in previous years and is approved by the Blues Foundation and the European Blues Union

Four Excited Bands Talking About 4th UK Blues Challenge

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

4th UK Blues Challenge At The Cavern Liverpool

Rainbreakers Talking About 2017 UK Blues Challenge


 

BD: firstly, thank you for taking the time out to chat about participating in the 4th UK Blues Challenge, Blues, your music and more.

RB: Thanks for having us.

 BD: 2017, sees the fourth UK British Blues Challenge.  This year the UKBlues Federation are “Bringing The Blues back to The cavern 60 years on..” Tell us what it means to The Rainbreakers to have been nominated to participate in the challenge with the chance of representing the UK in Hell, Norway and Memphis U.S.A in 2018?

RB: We were overwhelmed to have been nominated, especially when we don’t really consider ourselves to be a blues band as such. We think it shows willingness from theK scene to accept the new approach to the blues that some of the younger bands of today are displaying. Obviously we would be thrilled to go through to the European and American challenges especially as we are hugely influenced by a plethora of bands from the states!

 BD: What are the Blues to The Rainbreakers? Do you feel British Blues has a different feel to what is being currently produced in Europe, United States and elsewhere in the world?

RB: To us the Blues is just good music that is soulful and portrayed with meaning. The blues has influenced almost the entirety of modern day music, so to us it’s a huge umbrella term covering a wide variety of different styles. We would say that the British Blues scene has just as much variety and depth as any of the styles we’ve seen coming from Europe and the US. The bands we’ve met from both places have their own unique style and are usually influenced by a melting pot of artists from both sides of the pond anyway. So, yeah the Blues here has its own feel as much as the Blues there has its own.

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues ChallengeBD: Your latest EP is entitled Rise Up; tell us a bit about your EP and do you have plans for a full album.?

RB: The latest EP was a chance for us to explore our own songwriting and recording ability. We have a friend, Robin Andrews, who is an amazing Drum and Bass producer signed to Blu Mar Ten Music, and he was willing to spend time with us in our own studio to explore some different ideas and come at the recording process in a different way. The hope was always to use his differing background to most producers in the scene and see what came out of it. We were pleasantly surprised with the results and all of the feedback from reviewers and fans alike has given us huge encouragement to keep on experimenting with our ideas when it comes to recording again. For now all we can say is that we do have plans for another record. You’ll have to wait and see….

BD: What do you feel The UKBlues Federation can bring to the UK Blues what would you like the Federation to be doing for Blues artists on the circuit in Britain today?

RB: The main task of the federation has and should always be to reenergize the scene in the country so that more people keep music live and try new ways to draw in the younger crowds because without the younger audience taking the mantle the scene won’t last forever. All they can do for now is continue to give new bands, like ourselves and the other acts in the challenge, a chance to perform in front of people and push their careers further. Without opportunities like this we couldn’t keep reaching new fans and keep performing.

BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing?

RB: Good question!! We’d have to have the drummer from The London Souls, Chris St. Hilaire, insane rhythms and ability. Then with Chris Wood of The Wood Brothers, incredible player on both electric bass and double bass!! Oh and then we’d have Brian J from Pimps of Joytime as the frontman, great vocals and guitar work! Then for us it would have to be King Zapata from Gary Clark Jr’s band for his guitar work, both as lead and his playing ability as rhythm. That’s a band right there! Especially when you complete it with Mariachi Flor de Toloache, the backing singers and players from The Arcs, doing what they do best! If you havent’ heard of them, look ‘em up, you will be amazed!!

 

BD: Thank you for your time. The challenge at The Cavern on 10th September will be an amazing night of live music as we hear the five bands – LaVendore RogueElles BaileyZoe Schwarz Blue Commotion The Rainbreakers and the winner of the Jessica Foxley Unsigned to be decided at the 2017 Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival at Colne. Buy Your ticket here and be part of a great night HERE.

Rainbreakers Talks About 2017 UK Blues Challenge

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

 

 

Saturday the 8th April 2017 was a big day for blues in the UK because of events many miles away in Horsens, Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back HomeDenmark, the venue for the 7th European Blues Challenge organised by the European Blues Union (EBU) in conjunction with the BluesKartellet of Horsens, a town described by its mayor, Peter Sorensen, as ’a city of music – with streets of blues’ and a city ‘known throughout Denmark for its concerts with renowned artists, festivals and major events’.

For the first time in the event’s history, the European Blues Challenge was won by the UK with Northern Ireland’s Kaz Hawkins Band beating off some stiff competition, particularly from Belgium’s The Bluebones who were placed second. The event saw acts from some 21 European countries competing over two nights at the Forum in Horsens, a venue which, in the past, has played host to many major names including the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Paul McCartney.

In an emotional acceptance of the trophy, Kaz first thanked the UK Blues Federation for making it possible for her and her band to take part in the International Blues Challenge, which took place in Memphis, Tennessee in late January and where the band reached the semi-finals, as well as the European Blues Challenge.

She also expressed her gratitude to the event organisers and to the judges for ‘getting’ her music which is so much a reflection both of her and her life.

In addition to the trophy, the band will also have the opportunity to play at a number of top European Blues Festivals as well as enjoying a considerably raised profile on the European Blues scene.

Kaz’s acceptance speech was full of emotion, warmth and the power of the blues.

Watch the VIDEO HERE

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back HomeBefore the results were announced on Saturday night, The European Blues Union announced the winners of the Blues Behind the Scenes Awards for 2017 which saw the Award for Production going to veteran and legendary producer Mike Vernon whose career spans many decades working with many great artists including John Mayall and Eric Clapton on the iconic Beano Album as well as many other major names over the years. Recently he has come out of semi-retirement to produce a number of albums for 21st century blues artists as well as putting together his own band with which he is touring.

Accepting the Award, Mike commented that he was knocked out to receive it but also very proud. He confirmed that he had no intention of stopping yet suggesting that if John Mayall is still touring in his 80s there was no way he (Mike) was going to quit!

Earlier in the day at the General Assembly of the European Blues Union, Dave Raven, award winning blues broadcaster, Chair of the UK’s Independent Blues Broadcasters Association and Treasurer of the UK Blues Federation, was elected to the Board of the EBU, the first time that the UK has been represented on this board and another big step towards blues in the UK being better represented in Europe.

For the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues), Ashwyn Smyth – Chair – said: ‘ We are both thrilled and very grateful that Kaz and her band have done us and blues in the UK so proud. Whilst the winning was down to Kaz and her band, we are so happy that we were able to facilitate them taking part in both Challenges and the win in Denmark is the cherry on top of the cake and can only serve to raise the profile of the blues in and from the UK!”

 

Bluesdoodles send our congratulations to Kaz Semi-finalists first in Memphis and now the Winner in Europe.

Check out review Feelin’ Good Album HERE

Check out Interview with Kaz after Memphis trip for international Blues Challenge HERE

 

Kaz Hawkins Brings European Blues Challenge Trophy Back Home

 

UK BLUES CHALLENGE 2016 at The Robin 2 Bilston

UK BLUES CHALLENGE 2016 at The Robin 2 Bilston

 

UK Blues Federation are delighted once again to be organising  the challenge.  UK Blues Challenge 2016 at The Robin 2 Bilston, where four exciting acts are performing for the opportunity to represent the U.K. at the European Blues Challenge 2017.  The Challenge takes place at The Robin 2 Bilston on Saturday 12th November 2016 – Tickets available £10 in advance. The successful act will travel to Norway to represent the U.K. at the 7th European Blues Challenge 2017.

The popular  four acts performing in front of a panel of judges selected from the UK Blues scene (in alphabetical order)  are:-

Dove & Boweevil

Kaz Hawkins

Rebecca Downes

Wille and The Bandits
UK BLUES CHALLENGE 2016 at The Robin 2 Bilston

Red Butler Ready for European Blues Challenge 2016

Red Butler Ready for European Blues Challenge 2016

 

European Blues Challenge

UKBlueslogowww Following the completion of a crowd funding campaign set up by the UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) on Crowdfunder UK, UKBlues is very pleased to announce that a total of £570.00 was raised thanks to the generosity of the contributors.

After the deduction of the fees levied by Crowdfunder UK, PayPal and Stripe who process the payments, a total of £540.00 remains and UKBlues have passed the whole of this to Red Butler to assist with their costs appearing at the 6th European Blues Challenge in Torrita di Siena, Italy in April.

It is believed that this is the first time that the UK’s representative at the European Blues Challenge has received financial support from the UK blues community.

For Red Butler, Alex Butler said: ‘’We’d like to thank everyone who has been part of this incredible effort to support us in our journey to Italy. We are honoured to have the opportunity to compete in the competition flying the flag for the U.K”

For UKBlues, Ashwyn Smyth: ‘‘We are very pleased and not a little proud that we have managed to provide some financial assistance to Red Butler as they travel to Italy to compete with 20 other acts from around Europe in the 6th European Blues Challenge. We believe this is the first time that this has happened.

We hope that people will recognise that UKBlues means what it says and that we are working hard to ‘promote and support Blues in and from the United Kingdom in all its forms and styles.’ This is just one small first step, next year we hope to be able to assist the winners of this year’s UK Blues Challenge to attend both the EBC in Denmark and the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

RED Butler Cheque-2565
Danny Bryant presents Alex Butler with the UK Blues Federation’s cheque for the money raised by UKBlues’ crowd funding campaign.
At the Waterfront, Norwich
l to r – Paul Smith, Board Member – UKBlues, Alex Butler, Danny Bryant, Charlie Simpson, Jane Chloe Pearce, Mike Topp (Red Butler)

We also have many other things which we are working on and invite people to support our work and the blues in the UK by joining the UK Blues Federation.

If you are not already a member of UKBlues, why not join now? Check UKBlues Federation HERE

For more information on the European Blues Challenge visit HERE

WINNER! SECOND UK BLUES CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED

LogoUKB Hi REs 500

 

WINNER! SECOND UK BLUES CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED

The UK Blues Federation (UKBlues) is pleased to announce that the band
representing the UK at the 6th European Blues Challenge</strong> (EBC), organised by the
European Blues Union (EBU) will be Red Butler, winners of the 2nd UK Blues
Challenge on Saturday 24th October 2015 at the Boom Boom Club in Sutton, Surrey,
jointly promoted and organised by Pete Feenstra Real Music Live and UKBlues.
A panel of five judges chosen from across the UK blues community awarded contestants
points for the four criteria laid down by the EBU – originality, instrumental talent, vocal talent
and stage presence. Red Butler were the winners from a field also including Malaya Blue,
The Brothers Groove, and The Katie Bradley Band.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ebcThe 6th EBC will be held on 8th-9th April 2016 in Torrita di Siena in Tuscany, Italy and will see
20 European bands competing. Previous UK representatives at the EBC have been BenPoole, 24 Pesos, Babajack, David Migden & the Twisted Roots and Laurence Jones.
The recently created UK Blues Federation is honoured to have been appointed by the EBU to run the Challenge and is setting up a crowd funding campaign to assist with Red Butler’s costs in connection appearing at the EBC. Full details will be available soon on the UKBlues website
Ashwyn Smyth – Chair of UKBlues – said: ‘It has been a lot of hard work to pull both the
selection process and the UK Challenge together, but it was all worth it! I am sure that Red
Butler are going to do us proud in Italy next year. Our thanks go to Pete Feenstra for all he
has done to make the Challenge happen and to the five judges who were faced with making
some difficult choices. This has also been a great way to introduce the newly formed UK
Blues Federation to the blues community in the UK and we have many plans for the future
including, we hope, seeing a UK representative at the 2017 International Blues Challenge in
Memphis.
“We hope that many people will want to join UKBlues and help to support us in what we are
doing and they can do so by going to our website where there are details of membership
types and how you can join.”

Alex Butler of Red Butler said:”There is huge exhilaration
amongst the band at winning the UK Blues Challenge. We put our hearts and souls into the
gig against stiff opposition. The immediate reaction from the crowd told us this was
something special from the word go. We are thrilled to have a major European event in the
calendar for next year.”

RBJohnBull2

UK Blues Challenge 2015

LogoUKB Hi REs 500UK Blues Challenge 2015
Boom Boom Club, Sutton

One Venue, a New organisation and 4 bands was everything you needed for a fantastic competition and night of live music exploring the depth and breadth of twenty-first century British Blues to have a winning combination. The evening was organized by the newly formed UK Blues Federation, and held at Pete Feenstra’s wonderful Boom Boom Club. The music comprised four bands, Brothers Groove, Katie Bradley Band, Malaya Blue and Red Butler providing the judges with a challenge of their own to score the wealth of talent on display tonight. The decision meant the winner would be going on to represent the U.K. at The European Blues Challenge in Torritadi Sienna Capitale Europea del Blues 2016; the band flying the flag with energy and a winning style will be Red Butler.

The club was packed and the anticipation high as people came together to enjoy catching up with friends and making new ones, everyone though was here to support the bands.

First on stage were Brothers Groove, who delivered blues full of rhythms and blues with a deep grove and energy, the two guitars up front give tone and texture that funk up the bluest of grooves; the applause reflected that every one of the four tracks they choose tonight were enjoyed.

The second band, Katie Bradley Band was the only band that played the harp and combined with Katie’s wonderful singing voice this is a band that pulls up the depths of the Delta and the intertwining weaves between Dudley Ross on guitar and Paul Jobson on keys created a musical storm of instrumentation that reflects the expressive vocals.

Third band of the evening and second band with a woman as lead vocalist is Malaya Blue who has been stirring up a storm at festivals and shows where Malaya and the band entertain. Her voice is rich and velvety smooth , a soul singer that shouts the blues and her band tonight was the second outing of the evening for Dudley on guitar, and on keys Paul Long. The music was smooth and the audience listened spellbound as the four original tracks sung by Malaya put a spell on everyone listening tonight.

Another quick change over and the last band of the night Red Butler hit the stage and the third female vocalist Jane Chloe Pearce took the microphone upped the tempo and got the audience participating with clapping and choruses it was electric live music captivating everyone; impressing the judges so that they got the top marks and are off to Italy in April 2016. This is a band that is greater than the sum of the individual talents, Alex Butler on guitar takes the lead and plays dirty with a slide and then ups the tempo with fine electric guitar fingering. The rhythm section of Mikey Topp and Charlie Simpson give the band a platform that hums and bounces with an energized rhythm. The songs reflect modern living and Pension Blues is a reflection that planning for your pension is not the top of a young bands priorities. Alex and Jane leaving the stage and then walking through the audience provided a fitting close for the set that ultimately won.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ebc

bba 2015In addition to this it was an opportunity to present to prize to participants who where winners at British Blues Awards 2015, filling in the gap while the audience waited to hear who the winners were. a real opportunity to celebrate the wonderful musicians that create the vibrant British Blues Scene.

UK Blues Challenge 24th October 2015

The Four Bands at The Challenge on 24th October 2015 The Boom Boom, Club Sutton

and visit UK Blues Federation Subscribe to the new You Tube Channel HERE

ChallengePoster

A selection panel created by UKBlues formed of nearly 200 musicians, writers, promoters, venues, festivals, radio presenters, PR/promotions, agents, record labels, and fans, including all UK Active Members of the European Blues Union (EBU) and representatives of the UK’s previous European Blues Challenge (EBC) contestants has chosen four artists to compete in the latest UK Blues Challenge.

The top four acts available to compete have been invited to take part in the UK Blues Challenge, which is being jointly promoted by EBU Active Member Pete Feenstra and UKBlues and which will take place on Saturday 24th October 2015 at the Boom Boom Club in Sutton in front of a panel of judges drawn from within the blues community chosen by UKBlues and Pete Feenstra, but who, for obvious reasons, will remain confidential until after the Challenge. They will use the same criteria to award points to the contestants as is used at the EBC.

The acts in order of appearance on the 24th are:

19.45 – 20.15 – Katie Bradley

20.30 – 21.00 – Malaya Blue

21.15 – 21.45 – Brothers Groove

22.00 – 22.30 – Red Butler

UKBlues congratulates the acts on their selection to take part in the UK Blues Challenge.
For more details about the UK Blues Challenge and how you can pre-book your tickets visit Pete Feenstra’s site or call +44 (0) 20 8791 9078

The winner of the UK Blues Challenge will represent the UK at the 6th European Blues Challenge, organised by the EBU, and which will take place in Torrita di Siena, Italy on 7-8-9th April 2016.

ebc

This is what Babajack says about the European Challenge having represented the UK at The EBC in 2012